Sick of that tickle in the back of your throat that makes you cough or do you have to clear your throat constantly? Post-nasal drip; it’s a common diagnosis and can happen for a number of reasons: allergies, viral infections like the common cold, sinus infections, or irritants in the air. You make around a quart of mucus a day (gross, I know), which keeps membranes all over your body moist and fights infection. When you’re sick, mucus production ramps up and in those cases, you just can’t ignore it!
If your post-nasal drip symptoms don’t go away, you may need to see a doctor. But there are many post-nasal drip remedies to try before reaching that point. Here’s where to start.
- Rinse your sinuses – A rinse with a squirt bottle or a Neti pot works by washing irritants or allergens out of your nasal passages.
- Get steamy – A humidifier or steam inhalation (hot shower)
- Guard against allergens – strategies include washing sheets frequently in hot water, dusting (and getting rid of clutter that collects dust).
- Stay hydrated to keep the mucus thinner
- Raise the head of your bed – Sleep on propped up pillows, to keep the mucus from collecting at the back of your throat.
- Avoid fatty and fried foods – Symptoms of GERD, including post-nasal drip and sore throat, can be drastically reduced by avoiding reflux-aggravating foods.
- Cut back on dairy products – Many people suffering from post-nasal drip swear that giving up or at least cutting back on dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese reduces mucus production and eases their symptoms.
It is important if your post-nasal drip lasts 10 days or more, if it gets worse, or if the mucus is green or yellow or has blood in it, it’s time to see your doctor. You could have a bacterial infection, a structural problem with your nose like a deviated septum, or nasal polyps. Come see us at the Ear, Nose and Throat Institute, we have the tools to see what’s going on inside your ear, nose and throat!